Big Picture Science – Rip Van Winkle Worm

by Gary Niederhoff on September 16, 2019

Big Picture Science – Rip Van Winkle Worm

Your shower pipes are alive. So are your sinks, books, and floorboards. New studies of our homes are revealing just what species live there – in the thousands, from bacteria to flies to millipedes. Meanwhile, life keeps surprising us by popping up in other unexpected places: the deep biosphere houses the majority of the world’s bacteria and the Arctic tundra has kept worms frozen – but alive – for 40,000 years.

We embrace the multitude of life living on us, in us, and – as it turns out – in every possible ecological niche. Most of it is harmless, some is beneficial, and it’s all testament to the amazing diversity and adaptability of life. In addition, the hardiest organisms suggest where we might find life beyond Earth.

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Rob Dunn / Shower Head Ecosystem
Part 2: Lynn Rothschild / Zombie Worms
Part 3: Karen Lloyd / Deep Carbon Observatory
Part 4: Rob Dunn / Your Household Zoo

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